The Packard Campus Theater programs events year round, usually on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The schedule for each month is posted approximately two weeks in advance. Short subjects are presented before select programs. Titles are subject to change without notice.
In case of inclement weather, for screenings at the Packard Campus Theater, check the information line at (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 no sooner than three hours before show time to see if the movie has been cancelled.
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For more information about how to attend, go to the “About the Theater” link at the top of this page.
Request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov
Thursday, Feb. 19 (7:30 p.m.)
THE BIG LEBOWSKI (Gramercy, 1998)
From the unconventional visionaries Joel & Ethan Coen (the filmmakers behind "Fargo" and "O Brother, Where Art Thou?") came this 1998 tale of kidnapping, mistaken identity and bowling. As they would again in the 2008 "Burn After Reading," the Coens explore themes of alienation, inequality and class structure via a group of hard-luck, off-beat characters suddenly drawn into each other’s orbits. Jeff Bridges, in a career-defining role, stars as "The Dude," an LA-based slacker who shares a last name with a rich man whose arm-candy wife is indebted to shady figures. Joining Bridges are John Goodman, Tara Reid, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Steve Buscemi and, in a now-legendary cameo, John Turturro. Stuffed with vignettes—each staged through the Coens’ trademark absurdist, innovative visual style—that are alternately funny and disturbing, "Lebowski" was only middling successful at the box office during its initial release. However, television, the Internet, home video and considerable word-of-mouth have made the film a highly quoted cult classic.
Rated R, No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Color, 117 minutes
Friday, Feb. 20 (7:30 p.m.)
RIO BRAVO (Warner Bros., 1959)
As legend goes, this Western, directed by Howard Hawks, was produced in part as a riposte to Fred Zinnemann’s "High Noon." The film trades in the wide-open spaces for the confines of a small jail where a sheriff and his deputies are waiting for the transfer of a prisoner and the anticipated attempt by his equally unlawful brother to break the prisoner out. John Wayne stars as sheriff John T. Chance and is aided in his efforts to keep the law by Walter Brennan, Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson. Angie Dickinson is the love interest and Western regulars Claude Akins, Ward Bond and Pedro Gonzalez are also featured. A smart Western where gunplay is matched by wordplay, "Rio Bravo" is a terrific ensemble piece and director Hawks’ last great film. Selected for The National Film Registry in December, 2014.
Color, 141 minutes
Saturday, Feb. 21 (2:00 p.m.)
BACK TO THE FUTURE (Universal, 1985)
Writer/director Robert Zemeckis explored the possibilities of special effects with the 1985 box-office smash “Back to the Future.” With his writing partner Bob Gale, Zemeckis tells the tale of accidental time-tourist Marty McFly. Stranded in the year 1955, Marty (Michael J. Fox)—with the help of Dr. Emmett Brown (played masterfully over-the-top by Christopher Lloyd)—must not only find a way home, but also teach his father how to become a man, repair the space/time continuum and save his family from being erased from existence. All this, while fighting off the advances of his then-teenaged mother. This sci-fi comedy adventure was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2007. “Luxo Jr.” and “Tin Toy,” two animated shorts from Pixar that are also on the NFR, will be shown before the feature.
Color, 116 minute feature, 7 minutes of shorts
Saturday, Feb. 21 (7:30 p.m.)
THE DRAGON PAINTER (Robertson-Cole Distributing, 1919)
After becoming Hollywood’s first Asian star, Japanese-born Sessue Hayakawa, like many leading film actors of the time, formed his own production company—Haworth Pictures (combining his name with that of director William Worthington)—to gain more control over his films. "The Dragon Painter," one of more than 20 feature films his company produced between 1918 and 1922, teamed Hayakawa and his wife Tsuru Aoki in the story of an obsessed, untutored painter who loses his artistic powers after he finds and marries the supposed "dragon princess." His passion and earlier pursuit of her had consumed him with the urge to create. Reviewers of the time praised the film for its seemingly authentic Japanese atmosphere, including the city of Hakone and its Shinto gates, built in Yosemite Valley, California. This lyrical drama was added to the National Film Registry in December, 2014. Andrew Simpson will provide live musical accompaniment for the program which includes the National Film Registry comedy short “One Week,” starring Buster Keaton.
Black & white, 53 minute feature, 20 minute short
Thursday, Feb. 26 (7:30 p.m.)
THE GANG’S ALL HERE (20th Century-Fox, 1943)
Although not remembered as well today as those put out by MGM, 20th Century-Fox’s big Technicolor musicals stand up well in comparison. Showgirl Alice Faye, Fox’s No. 1 musical star, is romanced by a soldier who uses an assumed name and then turns out to be a rich playboy. Carmen Miranda is also featured and her outrageous costume is highlighted in the legendary musical number "The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat." Busby Berkeley, who had just finished a long stint directing musicals at MGM and an earlier one at Warner Bros., directs and choreographs the film that was added to the National Film Registry in December, 2014.
Color, 103 minutes
Friday, Feb. 27 (7:30 p.m.)
THE WILD BUNCH (Warner Bros., 1969)
Aging desperadoes out for a final payday learn too late and at too high a cost that they have become obsolete. The movie employed techniques such as double-printing action moments, seen in succession from different angles, with liberal use of slow-motion and lots of blood, that were used as a storytelling device, almost more than the script. Sam Peckinpah’s direction, brilliant performances by the entire cast (including William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, Emilio Fernández and Strother Martin), outstanding cinematography and editing make it a true American classic. The landmark Western received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Score and was added to the National Film Registry in 1999. Rated R, No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Color, 145 minutes.
Saturday, Feb. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
SHOES (Universal, 1916)
Renowned silent era writer-director Lois Weber drew on her experiences as a missionary to create "Shoes," a masterfully crafted melodrama heightened by Weber’s intent to create, as she noted in an interview, "a slice out of real life." Weber’s camera empathetically documents the suffering her central character, an underpaid shopgirl (Mary MacLaren) struggling to support her family, endures daily—standing all day behind a shop counter, walking in winter weather in shoes that provided no protection, stepping on a nail that pierces her flesh. Combining a Progressive era reformer’s zeal to document social problems with a vivid flair for visual storytelling, Weber details Eva’s growing desire for the pair of luxurious shoes she passes each day in a shop window, her self-examination in a cracked mirror after she agrees to go out with a cabaret tout to acquire the shoes, her repugnance as the man puts his hands on her body, and her shame as she breaks down in tears while displaying her newly acquired goods to her mother. The film, which opens with pages from social worker Jane Addams’s sociological study of prostitution, was acclaimed by "Variety" as "a vision of life as it actually is ... devoid of theatricalism." It was added to the National Film Registry in December, 2014. Makia Matsumura will provide live musical accompaniment for the program which includes the National Film Registry comedy shorts “Mabel’s Blunder” and “Matrimony’s Speed Limit.”
Black & white, 60 minute feature, 20 minutes of shorts
Thursday, March 5 (7:30 p.m.)
THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE (Warner Bros., 1936)
Errol Flynn stars as Major Geoffrey Vickers, an officer in the 27th Lancers, stationed in India. When his regiment is drawn out on maneuvers, the barracks are attacked and women and children are killed by Indian potentate Surat Khan who is angry that the British government has cut off his subsidies. Vickers and his fellow Light Brigade lancers seek revenge by battling Khan, now ensconced with the Russians, at Balaclava. Olivia de Havilland co-stars as Flynn’s long-time fiancé with Patric Knowles as his brother and fellow officer. Michael Curtiz directed this epic adventure tale based on Alfred, Lord Tennyson's narrative poem.
Black & white, 115 minutes
Friday, March 6 (7:30 p.m.)
LEAP YEAR (Paramount, 1921)
Silent film comedian Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle stars as Stanley Piper, a stammering young man who is heir to his crotchety old uncle Jeremiah’s millions. Stanley has fallen in in love with Phyllis, his uncle’s nurse, but Jeremiah fears that she is only after his impending fortune. Determined to keep his nephew away from all such opportunistic women, the old coot sends Stanley off on a fishing trip to Catalina Island where our hero finds more flirtatious females than he can juggle. “Leap Year” was the last film Roscoe Arbuckle completed before the scandal that ended his on-screen career when he was accused of the rape and murder of actress Virginia Rappe. Although Arbuckle was later cleared of all charges, the film companies were reluctant to give him any major roles. This film was not released in this country until 1981. Ben Model will provide live musical accompaniment for the program which will include two comedy shorts.
Black & white, 92 minute program
Saturday, March 7 (7:30 p.m.)
THE PATENT LEATHER KID (First National, 1927)
A cocky New York prizefighter (Richard Barthelmess), nicknamed "The Patent Leather Kid" for his slicked-down hair style, isn't at all interested when America enters the Great War in Europe. His contempt for the subject only deepens when his girlfriend (Molly O'Day) leaves him to entertain the troops overseas. When the Kid is drafted and fighting on the battlefields of France, his attitude changes and he begins to pull together with his buddies, eventually performing a conspicuous act of bravery. Richard Barthelmess received a Best Actor Oscar nomination in the first year of the Academy Awards for this silent film, made at the height of his popularity. -- Live musical accompaniment provided by Ben Model.
Black & white, 150 minutes
Thursday, March 12 (7:30 p.m.)
THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (20th Century-Fox, 1953)
When widowed cartoonist Bill Carter (Dan Dailey) falls in love with his beautiful new neighbor, Broadway star Jeannie Laird (June Haver), it causes a rift with his 10-year-old son, Joe (Billy Gray). Threatened by a new woman in his father’s life, Joe refuses to accept Jeannie and begins a mischievous campaign to keep her away. This lighthearted Technicolor musical directed by Richard Sale features ten songs by Josef Myrow and Mack Gordon and an extended animated cartoon sequence. The film also stars popular singer-comedian Dennis Day.
Color, 92 minutes
Friday, March 13 (7:30 p.m.)
FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (Universal, 1982, R-rated *)
Among the best teen comedies, this 1980s cultural icon combines a sympathetic treatment of adolescence with hilarious performances. Directed by Amy Heckerling, the film was based on a script by 22-year old Rolling Stone magazine writer (and later film director) Cameron Crowe, who spent nine months undercover as a student at a Redondo Beach High School. The cast contains an appealing mix of soon-to-be-famous young talent (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold) confronting their raging hormones as they hang out at the mall and endure jobs in fast-food restaurants. Most memorable in the cast is Sean Penn as the spaced-out surfer dude Jeff Spicoli. The film also stars Robert Romanus, Brian Backer, Phoebe Cates and Ray Walston. “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” was selected for preservation in The National Film Registry in 2005.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Color, 90 minutes
Saturday, March 14 (2:00 p.m.)
THE GRAPES OF WRATH (20th Century-Fox, 1940)
The Joad family of impoverished farmers from the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma makes a harrowing journey to the promised land of California, only to find the good life they've hoped for is well out of reach. John Ford won the Oscar for Best Director for this uncompromising adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel. The film was nominated for an additional six Oscars, including Best Picture, and Jane Darwell won for Best Supporting Actress. After viewing the film, Steinbeck said Henry Fonda's performance as Tom Joad made him "believe my own words." The ensemble cast includes John Carradine, Charley Grapewin, Russell Simpson and John Qualen. The film was one of the first added to the National Film Registry in its inaugural year of 1989.
Black & white, 129 minutes
Thursday, March 19 (7:30 p.m.)
PUBLIC BROADCASTING LABORATORY (1968)
Public Broadcasting Laboratory (PBL) was the first regularly scheduled educational television program, airing on National Educational Television (NET) stations across the country. It premiered in 1967, offering incisive reporting, examinations of the arts and sciences, live dramas, strong opinion and probing comment. In 1994, PBS donated its archives to the Library of Congress which included 53 episodes of PBL, most of which are on 2″ videotape. This program, curated by the Library of Congress’ Video Preservation Lab, will feature rare clips from PBL, most of which have not been seen since their original broadcasts. Included is a report on the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., coverage of the Brigade Women's March on Washington protesting the war in Vietnam, California Governor Ronald Reagan visiting a fraternity house at Yale University, and Johnny Cash singing a duet with Bob Dylan.
Color, 120 minutes
Friday, March 20 (7:30 p.m.)
ALL FALL DOWN (MGM, 1962)
John Frankenheimer directed this adaptation of James Leo Herlihy’s novel about Berry-Berry Willart (Warren Beatty), a handsome hedonistic young drifter who lives off the women he seduces and who frequently ends up in jail. Clinton (Brandon deWilde) idolizes his older brother until he witnesses Berry-Berry’s cruel treatment of Echo (Eva Marie Saint), a family friend and spinster who falls in love with the scoundrel. Together with this film and her performance in Frankenheimer's “The Manchurian Candidate” which was released the same year, Angela Lansbury (who played a destructively manipulative mother in both films) won the year's National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress. Karl Malden plays her husband and Beatty’s father.
Black & white, 111 minutes
Saturday, March 21 (1:00 p.m.)
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN (20th Century Fox, 2009)
Shawn Levy returned as director for this sequel to his 2006 hit comedy “Night at the Museum.” Ben Stiller repeats his role as Larry Daley, a former night watchman at the American Museum of Natural History. Now a wealthy and successful CEO of Daley Enterprises, Larry is called upon to rescue his living, breathing exhibit friends Jedediah (Owen Wilson) and Octavius (Steve Coogan), who have been shipped to the Federal Archives at the Smithsonian Institution for storage. Headlining the all-star cast as other museum exhibits are Robin Williams (Teddy Roosevelt), Amy Adams (Amelia Earhart), Hank Azaria (Pharaoh Kahmunrah) and Christopher Guest (Ivan the Terrible).
Color, 105 minutes
Thursday, March 26 (7:30 p.m.)
THE CATERED AFFAIR (MGM, 1956)
Bette Davis stars as Agnes Hurley, the wife of a Bronx taxi driver (Ernest Borgnine) who wants to give her daughter Jane an elaborate wedding, despite the fact that the family cannot afford it, the daughter does not want it and her husband was planning to use the money to become self-employed. Directed by Richard Brooks with a script by Gore Vidal based on Paddy Chayefsky’s television play, the drama also stars Debbie Reynolds as Jane and Rod Taylor as her fiancé Ralph. In later years, Davis would consider the film one of her proudest achievements.
Black & white, 92 minutes
Friday, March 27 (7:30 p.m.)
RKO WESTERN DOUBLE FEATURE STARRING HARRY CAREY SR.
POWDERSMOKE RANGE (RKO, 1935)
Three cowboys buy a ranch only to find their legal papers are missing and their cattle have been rustled. The culprit is a greedy political boss who takes umbrage to their presence in his territory to the point of hiring a professional gunslinger. Harry Carey, Hoot Gibson and Guinn "Big Boy" Williams portray the victimized ranch owners with Sam Hardy and Tom Tyler as the bad guys. Touted as "the Barnum and Bailey of Westerns,'' this was the first film based on William Colt MacDonald's Three Mesquiteers characters. It also boasts appearances by thirteen former silent screen cowboy heroes including Bob Steele, Art Mix, , Buffalo Bill Jr., Franklyn Farnum and William Farnum.
Black & white, 72 minutes
THE LAW WEST OF THE TOMBSTONE (RKO, 1938)
Combining the folk lore of Judge Roy Bean, Billy the Kid and the Clanton Gang at the O.K. Corral, this lively Western stars Harry Carey as Bill Barker, a notorious liar who talks the townspeople of Martinez into making him both Mayor and Judge. Here, with the help of outlaw the Tonto Kid (Tim Holt), Judge Barker fends off the troublesome McQuinn Brothers. Along the way, he meets his grown daughter Nitta, who believes her father died a hero at Gettysburg. Of course, she falls in love with the Tonto Kid. Costarring in this oater are Evelyn Brent, Paul Guilfoyle and Ward Bond.
Black & white, 72 minutes
Saturday, March 28 (7:30 p.m.)
THE MARK OF ZORRO (United Artists, 1920)
Douglas Fairbanks Sr. changed his screen persona from a cheerful romantic comedian to what became the prototype for a new kind of hero - the swashbuckling adventurer, with “The Mark of Zorro,” which he also produced and co-wrote. Based on a short story by Johnston McCulley, "The Curse of Capistrano," this was the first time the masked hero Zorro had appeared on screen. Set in California in the early nineteenth century, the story opens as Don Diego Vega (Fairbanks) returns from Spain to find his family being menaced by a corrupt governor and his henchmen. While Don Diego appears on the surface to be an effete dilettante, his behavior is really an elaborate ruse. In reality, he is Zorro, a master swordsman who has dedicated his life to fighting evil tyrants. Directed by Fred Niblo, this silent classic also stars Marguerite De La Motte and Noah Beery. The Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra will make their Packard Theater premier providing live musical accompaniment based on the original 1920 theater orchestra score compiled for the film by James C. Bradford. The orchestra is a direct recreation of the standard '11-and-piano' theater orchestra of the early 1900s. The group uses original period instruments and consists of five, two woodwinds, three brass instruments, percussion and a conductor (Andrew Greene) doubling as a pianist.
Black & white, 107 minutes
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Last Updated: 02/20/2015